Dobson to take over for Toler at airport

| December 28, 2020
For the first time in 18 years, the Coshocton County Airport will be under new leadership. John “Marty” Dobson is replacing Bethel Toler, who retired due to health issues.
“Bethel Toler was a tremendous asset to the Coshocton County Airport over the past 18 years, beginning in July 2002,” said Jerold Meyer, Coshocton County Airport board president. “Under his leadership the airport was able to expand the runway to 5,000 feet, enabling large, corporate jets and turboprops to land. This expansion opened up the county to improved accessibility to national firms and associated economic possibilities.”
Meyer said Toler kept abreast of constantly changing FAA requirements to keep the airport certified for operation in a rapidly advancing technological environment.
“He cooperated with our consultant airport engineer Don Yager to take advantage of FAA and Ohio Department of Transportation Airport development funds,” Meyer said. “This resulted in a very up-to-date facility, admired by pilots from all over the U.S.”
Toler also had a working relationship with Missionary Maintenance Services, which is located at the airport and able to help with mechanical issues.
“Missionary Maintenance generously loaned equipment to the airport in emergencies and helped many transient and local pilots who suffered aircraft breakdowns,” Meyer said.
Another one of Toler’s many accomplishments is organizing air shows that were held at the airport.
“Bethel Toler, with his wife, Connie, aided by numerous community volunteers, oversaw and directed several large-production airshows that the community raved about,” Meyer said. “The amount of work sponsoring such events was tremendous, but Bethel and Connie persevered, and the results were memorable times for both local and visiting audiences. It is with sadness that we accepted Bethel’s retirement, but he felt that the time was right to allow someone else to take over the reins at the airport. He can be proud of his achievements as the Richard Downing Coshocton County Airport administrator.”
Dobson was selected to fill Toler’s role after the airport authority interviewed several candidates. He is a lifelong Coshocton County resident and was a part-time Coshocton County employee.
“I was working part-time at the airport, part-time for Janette Donaker at the treasurer’s office and as a part-time deputy at the sheriff’s office,” Dobson said. “I applied for this job because it was something I always thought I wanted to try.”
Dobson retired from ODOT in 2015 after 30 years of employment and then started at the airport. “They asked me to come back up and work here,” he said. “I had been here for 10 years from ’85 to ’95 and loved it. I missed being here. I like the people you get to meet and seeing the different airplanes. I’m not a pilot, but I love aviation.”
Dobson is looking forward to continuing projects Toler was part of.
“I’d like to finish up the corporate hanger project that has been in limbo with COVID and see the amphitheater get back up and running,” Dobson said. “That (amphitheater) is something that people who aren’t even pilots can come up and enjoy at the airport. It will be a while, but it’s on the list.”
Adams Runway Grill also will be back in 2021.
“People can come up, enjoy good food and see the airplanes,” Dobson said. “I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a good time again.”

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Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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